A quick recap on this weeks rumor mill in motion.
With several choice roles already set – Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman), Diane Lane (Ma Kent), Kevin Costner (Pa Kent), and several female roles already in talks – Alice Eve, Rosamund Pike, Diane Kruger and Juno Temple (who may have nixed herself of the list when she agreed to Batman last month), director Zack Snyder has shifted his focus to the villainous side of our superhero tale. So, who’s he looking at…?
Viggo Mortensen was once upon a time in talks to play the lead villain, however is rumored to have met with Snyder and passed (keep in mind Mortensen is extremely picky, and had to be convinced to take on “Lord of the Rings”). Now two new names enter the mix, with “Carlos” star Edgar Ramirez, and current “Boardwalk Empire” (and a hundred other projects in the past few years) star Michael Shannon. Roles for the villain have been kept tightly under wraps, though when Mortensen was circling it was said to be for the role of “General Zod”. However, rewrites have taken place since then (and are still ongoing as of a confirmation today). The boards seem to be hinting at a Zod A-story, with a “Lex Luthor” B-story. More as it develops.
#2 – PREACHER
We didn’t report this when it hit the boards, and the web, because it was simply a director telling people actors he likes. Literally, that was it. But, since then, his conversation about them has moved into very preliminary talks and conversations about gauging each others interest, availability, and reality of the role. The project, which is based on the intelligent, questioning, violent, religious (sort of) adventure by Garth Ennis, and which director DJ Caruso now holds the reins to (Sam Mendes and Rachel Talalay were both attached to direct previously) has been all over the film and television landscape in the past decade, criss-crossing film development with places like Kevin Smith’s View Askew Productions, and a potential HBO series with Michael de Luca and Mark Steven Johnson EPing, and finally back into the film world with Neal Moritz and Columbia Pictures taking it on. But, enough about that, lets get into the casting tidbits.
Caruso, when asked who he liked for his take on Preacher spouted off a few names in an interview. Those names, and their roles were… Chris Pine as the lead role “Jesse”, Shia LaBeouf as the co-lead “Arseface” and Alex Pettyfer for the role of the “Saint of Killers”. Having read the comics, and again the entire run of trades recently, all I can say is not one of these make any sense at all! Not one. At all. I honestly think my belief in Caruso pulling this off just came to an end. Flip the roles to LaBeouf as Jesse, and Pine as Arseface… maybe. But, Pettyfer as Killers… there is not a chance. Tie that to the dismal opening of “I Am Number Four” and I predict a director change, and a few more years in development before this moves forward again.
#3 – THE BOURNE LEGACY
With Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass officially exiting the franchise, that leaves writer (and now director on Legacy) Tony Gilroy on to steer the ship (one which he has bad-mouthed with all three films prior). Regardless, Gilroy can write, the material is strong, and Universal has made it very clear they’re moving ahead on this. So, with this Bourne “spin-off” the next obvious question becomes, who can play a role that will forever be compared to the brilliance Damon perfected it three times prior? Well, the studio, and Gilroy think they have a few ideas, so lets look at them.
The names that are in contention (and have been verified) are… Shia LaBeouf (to no ones surprise), Taylor Kitsch (who is starring in Universal’s upcoming blockbuster-hopeful Battleship), Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, Country Strong), Joel Edgerton (The Thing, Animal Kingdom), Luke Evans (Clash of the Titan, The Three Musketeers 3D) and Dominic Cooper (Captain America, The Devil’s Double). Ok, this is a much shorter list than what hit the agencies a few months back (and essentially covered every good-looking male actors under 30), but I’m still not sure about some of these roles. So, lets break it down by categories of what a “Bourne” leads needs.
- First and foremost – Male action star qualities – I love Cooper, but I think he is the weakest in this category.
- Secondly – Charisma – We lose Hedlund here as well.
- Third – Age (they are looking for early-mid-20s) – and while Edgerton may be my favorite guy on this list, he and Evans are the oldest, and therfore both out
- Fourth – Ability to open a movie – While Kitsch may very well become a star, he’s still on the rise (though I think very much due) and therefore, this category, though the studio says they don’t need a “star” would eliminate him.
- Fifth – LaBeouf Burnout – This category is less about the film, and more about the only remaining actor – LaBeouf. While I think he’s probably the best actor of this bunch, I know he’s quite simply been everywhere, and therefore started to receive some backlash in 2010 as audiences started to tire on him. However, I think he also took a break somewhere in there, and let viewers take a breather from him, which at least personally, helped me remember why I was so fond of him in the first place. However, with that said, he’s become such a blockbuster presence in the past few years that he’s all but made his ability to disappear into a role impossible. It’s become “Shia vs. the Decepticons”, “Shia and the Crystal Skull”, “Shia on Wall Street” and who knows, it may be “Shia in that Preacher movie” if #2 above ever happens. If the project does move ahead with LaBeouf, it will work, and I will see it, but the idea of it being a “Bourne” movie will be lost, and instead I’ll be watching a “Shia is a spy vs the government” movie.
So, where does that leave us…?
THE LABEOUF LEGACY?
You tell me.